To Study or Not To Study… ?

I decided to flunk the current grad school course for good yesterday. Last year I already failed the assignment the first time by not handing in it on time, or better for not even starting to work on it on time. I just never quite got the hang of the course in the first place and thus neither of the assignment.
I’m taking the courses at a distant education university, so it’s basically working through the study material by yourself and writing the assignment afterwards. The upside of this is that you can work on your own schedule, but that’s also a downside in my case. Life and work and all was just so busy over the last 1.5 years, that school was put on a back burner but I had already signed up for that course and thus had really intended to actually finish it by handing in a decent assignment on Monday, which was my deadline.
But like stated above, I had a hard time grasping the content of this course. I had been determined to hand in the assignment anyway and I had finished about half of it until this last weekend. And then my computer was acting up and the file got demolished and I still haven’t quite worked out how that happened. And of course I hadn’t made any backups (stupid, stupid, stupid me). I managed to reconstruct parts of the file but it had cost me a whole afternoon and even before then I had realized that it would have been difficult to pull of within the remaining time frame anyway.
So, last night I decided to not even try to reconstruct or rewrite the lost pieces or work on the stuff that I still hadn’t quite figured out what it was actually all about and to just flunk out after all.

In a way it sucks, because now I will have to take (and pay for) a different science / science-related course to get the credits I need to be able to graduate. And there aren’t so many science classes to choose from for me. Another obstacle I have to consider now is that the program’s requirements and examination regulations have changed. As a student who started before the change I was allowed to study according to the old rules but only if I will graduate until May 2014. If I don’t, the new rules will apply to me as well from May 2014 onwards.
There is no way I will manage to graduate until then (yes I’ve slacked in the last few years). That also means that I will have to take yet another course to fulfill the new(er) credit requirements, but at least I can choose that one rather freely and I already know which one that would be. I just don’t know if I can already take this additional course before May 2014. I will have to check with the department again and get a few more questions answered.

The weird thing is: Until I decided to flunk this course last night I was seriously lacking motivation to continue with this program at all. And even though it now seems more complicated (more credits, higher costs, longer time etc.) I already fell a new surge of motivation for all of it. Too bad that didn’t happen a few months earlier when I might have still found the time and willingness to finish that stupid assignment. *sigh*
But I’m planning to make good use of the day off tomorrow and get all my grad school stuff in order and to mail my questions to the department and to finally work on the few ideas I already had for the long term paper I have to write before I write my master thesis.
Even though I was slacking on and off in the last few years I still want to finish this education and graduate. Not just because I already paid good money for it (just a blimp compared to what’s paid in the university education elsewhere, but still). But to proof to me and everyone else, that I can.
I really hope I can still pull it off, even though my biggest motivation to keep trudging on with it, has disappeared: I had started with this graduate program (Environmental Science), because I wanted to get out of the job I had and to do something I’d enjoy more and which I’d consider more “meaningful”. I had always hoped that with this degree I would be able to get that kind of job.
And then I applied for that kind of job last year, even though I had not yet graduated but at least passed most of the relevant courses. And I got the job and I love it and I’m happy and I think I’m doing quite good at it. So I don’t actually really NEED to graduate anymore. But it still would feel like unfinished business and I’m not a fan of that. So I’m going to give it another try and if by the end of the year I realize that it’s too much to handle I will probably drop out without many regrets. Regrets I would have if I stopped it all already now.

Ask me about it again after the summer :-)

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